In recent times, internet has come up as an effective medium for businesses to connect to their customers. For this, the businesses across globe are resorting to e-business practices and adopting marketing techniques such as social media marketing. Social media has facilitated people to communicate with each other beyond geographical restrictions (Ronnestam, 2010). With social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter etc, people can share information and also connect with businesses. One of the industries to reap the impacts of social media marketing is Hotel industry. Interestingly, hotels now-a-days build an online presence to connect to customers, get their feedback and suggestions and increase their visibility (Korosuo, 2013). This study emphasises on the impact of social media marketing on hotel industry in UK.
Research objectives are critical for every study. These provide a direction to the study. The research objectives of this study are as under:
- To evaluate how internet has changed hotel marketing
- To assess the main activities involved in social media marketing
- To evaluate the role of social media marketing within hotel marketing strategies
- To evaluate the challenges and issues of social media marketing and how it affects the hotels
H0: UK has one of the leading hospitality industries across globe.
H1: Social media is an effective medium with the hotels to connect to consumers and get clientele.
Social media play a very crucial role in the marketing plans of hotels. The social media marketing has facilitated the hotels with two way communication with their clients about their services and property. Traditionally, hotels were dependant on different ways of advertising such as marketing through images of the property and food. But this type of marketing done by hotels was limited to a region and could not be used to target wider clientele particularly abroad (Camaide, 2013). To cope up with these problems, social media marketing was adopted. The social media provide opportunities to hoteliers to target wider customer base beyond geographical restrictions. The marketing team of hotels can engage in quality conversations with customers sitting in any corner of the world. There are hotels such as Marriott London, Taj Hotels, The Hilton Hotels, The Four Season Hotels etc. As per different surveys carried out across globe to study the impact of social media in lives of people, it has been estimated that 2.1 million users use social media everyday for different purposes. Out of all the purposes, consumers use social media to post reviews about their experiences in hotels and also to read reviews when checking in hotels (Dev, 2013).
Research Methodology refers to the methods adopted by the research to gather data. The research approach used in this study is qualitative. The qualitative research methodology is exploratory in nature wherein the researcher refers case studies and conduct interviews to gather information. Since qualitative research methodology will be adopted so researcher will be carrying out interviews with marketing heads to two premier hotels in UK and also with consumers of UK to determine whether they use social media to post and read reviews about the hospitality property. Being an inductive research, the scope of the study has been narrow down.
- How has internet changed hotel marketing?
- What are the main activities involved in social media marketing?
- What is the role of social media marketing within hotel marketing strategies?
- What are the challenges and issues of social media marketing and how it affects the hotels?
The sample size selected to conduct a survey with consumers in UK will be small. Overall, 100 consumers will selected falling in the age group 18-45. The observations of the survey have been recorded as under:
Type of Experience
Fig 1: Experience of consumers with hotels
Overall, social media marketing is one of the tactics followed by hoteliers in UK to increase their visibility and clientele. There are numerous social media sites existing over internet such as Face book, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. Interestingly, Face book had 500 million plus users in 2010 whereas twitter had 75 million active users. Considering the wide acceptance of online communities over internet, organisations view social media as one of the interesting marketing tools to increase customer engagement.
Ronnestam, J. (2010). 3 SOCIAL MEDIA MODELS THAT WILL GUIDE YOUR BRAND INTO THE CONVERSATION LANDSCAPE. http://www.ronnestam.com/3-models-guide-your-brand-succesful-social-media-strategy/ . Accessed on 15th July, 2015.
Korosuo, S. (2013). Social media as a marketing tool for extreme-sport oriented companies. http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:631004/fulltext01.pdf . Accessed on 15th July, 2015.
Camaide, M. (2013). THE MATURITY MODEL SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING. AT INTERNET / WHITE PAPER. Accessed on 15th July, 2015.
Dev, S. (2013). Must Read: 6C’s of Social Media Marketing. http://blog.digitalinsights.in/6cs-of-social-media-marketing/0578487.html . Accessed on 15th July, 2015.
Harihar, A. (2013). Social Media Strategy Review: Hospitality Industry. http://www.socialsamosa.com/2013/10/social-media-strategy-review-hospitality-industry/. Accessed on 15th July, 2015.